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New Education Coalition Asks For Teacher Contract Changes

By Mike DeNardo

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – A new education coalition wants changes in the next Philadelphia teachers contract to help make teachers more effective.

The Coalition for Effective Teaching is made up of groups including Public Citizens for Children and Youth, the Philadelphia Education Fund and the United Way. The group endorses full site selection in the next teachers contract — that is, letting principals pick teachers, rather than having teachers with seniority choosing the schools where they want to work.

Teachers union head Jerry Jordan doesn’t buy that.

“Certainly there is no evidence that full site selection or eliminating seniority is a magic bullet.”

PCCY executive Director Donna Cooper says both sides need to give.

“The more the union and management speak about how to build school buildings that are teams of effective teachers and principals together, we think that will help.”

The coalition says teachers shouldn’t have to take pay cuts as the district proposes. The group also calls on the district to improve teacher recruiting.

A district spokesman says the school district welcomes the input from the coalition — and that some of the group’s suggestions are already included in the Superintendent’s action plan.

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